Nearly one in three first-time house buyers purchase furniture before measuring up, according to research revealing common blunders made by people taking their first step on the property ladder.

The research from Co-operative Insurance found 31% of first-time buyers shelled out for furniture before measuring the rooms in their new home properly.

Of these, one in four (25%) agreed it was a "nightmare" to get their furnishings into the property and one in 14 (7%) damaged their new home during the struggle to wedge the furniture in.

The Co-op also found that nearly half (47%) of first-time buyers did not budget for home insurance when they bought their first property and 52% guessed information when obtaining insurance quotes because they did not know the answers.

The research also found that one in five first-time buyers aged 25 to 34 only buys buildings or contents insurance instead of both.

Buildings insurance should cover the rebuild cost of the main elements of a home including the walls, floors, windows, roof and doors. It can also cover permanent fittings such as kitchens and bathrooms. Contents insurance protects belongings in a home such as furniture, carpets, curtains, TVs, jewellery and mobile phones.

Across all age groups, 9% admitted only purchasing buildings insurance after they had moved into the property. About one in five (19%) did not have contents insurance before they moved belongings into their home.

Caroline Hunter, head of home insurance at the Co-operative, said: "Making sure you have buildings insurance in place, at the time of exchange of contracts, is important because that is when you become legally responsible for the property.

"For example, if the property is affected by fire or malicious damage before the completion process is finalised, you could be liable for these costs without it. Each mortgage provider will have their own rules and they may check this before lending money to a potential home buyer.

"It is also wise to have contents insurance in place before you move. Often this will cover goods in transit, so it could save you money, as you may not need to purchase insurance from a removals company.

"Check with your insurer because there may be requirements that items of a fragile nature are packed by professionals and small, high-value items may not be covered, such as jewellery."

Some 1,500 first-time buyers took part in the research.